Around 3,245 people have tested positive for a bacterial disease called brucellosis in Lanzhou, China, the capital city of Gansu province caused by leakage at a biopharmaceutical last year.
The leak started at Zhongmu Lanzhou biological pharmaceutical factory from July to August last year. Reporting infections began in November and by the end of December, at least 181 people had been infected. While producing Brucella vaccines for the animals, the factory used expired disinfectants and sanitizers that caused contaminated waste gas formed aerosols that contained the bacteria and leaked into the air to Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, where the outbreak began.
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Brucellosis also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever, is a zoonotic disease from animals transmitted to humans causing symptoms like headaches, muscle pain, fever, and fatigue. While these may subside, some symptoms might not go away, like inflammation of joints and certain organs. This is also often caused by contact with livestock, consuming raw foods, or inhaling the bacteria, while human to human transmission is extremely rare according to the CDC.
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The factory issued a public apology back in February and punished the eight people responsible for the said incident and contributed a compensation program for those affected. 11 public hospitals would also provide free checkups for infected patients.